14 September 1961 |
|Education||Art history, graphic design, printmaking, publicity, figure drawing|
|Known for||caricature, editorial cartoon, illustrator|
Karl Meersman (born 14 September 1961) is a Belgian editorial cartoonist, living in Sint-Niklaas. He is known for his weekly caricatures in the popular magazines Trends and Knack. Since 2004, Meersman lives with former VRT journalist Lies Martens.
Meersman's art has been widely lauded in the press, in the art world, and in politics. He gained international attention when his work was displayed in the Belgian consulate in New York City, in 2006–2007.
Meersman comes from an artistic family. His grandfather was a painter, and both his mother and father were professional artists. When he was a young boy his parents took him to the art school in Temse, where they worked as teachers. At age thirteen, he entered a drawing contest for children, but was disqualified because the jury did not believe his entry was drawn by a child. After a protest from his father and performing the same drawing with the jury present, he won the prize money: 75,000 Belgian francs.
After deciding he wanted to follow in the footsteps of his parents, he dropped out of high school and attended different art night schools instead. He was awarded degrees in publicity, printmaking, and figure drawing. In the meantime his father sent him to a photogravure company, where Meersman held a day job. When his father's drawing workshop became too big to be run by a single person, he became permanently involved there.
Initially, Meersman was mainly occupied with work in the publicity sector. He was hired as a caricaturist by Trends magazine in 1987 after he was noticed drawing visitors in a furniture shop, and has been drawing political cartoons for the magazine weekly ever since. The economical magazine calls the cartoonist their "jester of the socio-economic society". In 1991, together with two of his siblings, Meersman took over his father's drawing studio Meersman I.D. to manage the ever-growing work load. He led the atelier until 2004, when the studio decided that the publicity sector had become too much for them. In 2002, he became the permanent illustrator for Focus Knack, for which he draws caricatures of showbiz people most of the time.
The artwork for magazines is done using traditional techniques: watercolor and pencil on paper. His interest in contemporary politics and news led him to political caricature as a living, and as he says: "I like to stand with both feet in the present, my work is a mirror of today."
As his biggest influences he names Egon Schiele and the satirical prints in the tradition of Félicien Rops, Toulouse-Lautrec, and Honoré Daumier. His style is described as realism with a strong eye for detail.
- Meersman; Karl (2010). VIPS TOO : very important paintings too. Roularta Books. ISBN 978-90-8679-358-7
- Meersman, Karl (2007). VIPS : very important paintings. Roularta. ISBN 978-90-5466-512-0
- Vandamme, Hugo and Cambien, Karel (2007). Illustrated by Meersman, Karl. Wat baten kaars en bril : management in spreekwoorden : wat je op school niet leert. Roularta. ISBN 978-90-5466-995-1
- Trends (2000). Illustrated by Meersman, Karl. België : tekenend en getekend 1990-2000 : Karl Meersman tekent tien jaar België / La Belgique traits pour traits 1990-2000 : Karl Meersman croque dix belges années. Roularta. ISBN 90-5466-478-9
- Seghers, Hendrik (1997). Illustrated by Meersman, Karl. De nieuwe collaboratie : een ondernemer in het verzet. Davidsfonds. ISBN 90-6152-655-8
- Trends (1993). Illustrated by Meersman, Karl. België in 30 hoofdstukken : over economie en politiek in de jaren '90. Roularta. ISBN 90-5466-073-2
- Uytterhoeven, Mark (1988). Illustrated by Meersman, Karl. Wat een jaar, beste spotliefhebber! : de hoogtepunten van het sportjaar 1988. Roularta. ISBN 90-72411-12-9
Child and young adult literature
- Meersman, Karl (2002). Een melkje wolk. Afijn. ISBN 90-5933-017-X
- Kolet, Janssen (2000). Illustrated by Meersman, Karl. Wisselkind : roman. Davidsfonds. ISBN 90-6565-935-8
- Linders, Jac (1999). Illustrated by Meersman, Karl. De derde kans. Davidsfonds. ISBN 90-6565-922-6
- De Maeyer, Gregie (1998). Illustrated by Meersman, Karl. De koningste koning. Davidsfonds. ISBN 90-6565-878-5
- Langenus, Ron (1997). Illustrated by Meersman, Karl. Onder de zwarte heuvel. Davidsfonds. ISBN 90-6565-777-0
- Linders, Jac (1997). Illustrated by Meersman, Karl. Complot tegen Jesse. Davidsfonds. ISBN 90-6565-820-3
- De Maeyer, Gregie (1996). Illustrated by Meersman, Karl. Ach. Davidsfonds. ISBN 90-6565-745-2
- Langenus, Ron (1996). Illustrated by Meersman, Karl. Het geheim van de Zwarte Dame. Davidsfonds. ISBN 90-6565-735-5
Notes and references
- Tollenaere, Rudy (2005-04-10). "Cartoonist Karl Meersman stelt beroemde gezichten tentoon". Het Nieuwsblad (in Dutch). Retrieved 2008-01-22.
- Laudatio, retrieved 2008-01-22 (in Dutch)
- Open House at the Consulate General of Belgium in New York, December 2006, retrieved 2008-01-22
- Meersman's political caricatures of U.S. President George W. Bush were not allowed in the exposition. Getting them into the United States also created problems at the airport customs. (Trends, 2007-20-12)
- Smedts, Sjoukje (2007-12-20). "Als je slaagt in België, slaag je overal". Trends (in Dutch). Roularta Media Group. p. 98.
- My life, retrieved 2008-01-22
- Herremans, Ben (2003). Karl Meersman : een getekend wereldbeeld / Karl Meersman traits marquant le monde. Roularta. ISBN 90-5466-593-9